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College of Communication

CCOM Dean’s Advisory Board

The Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Communication (CCOM) support and advise the dean, faculty, and staff in realizing their mission of graduating majors and minors who are highly competent and culturally aware communicators and media practitioners. Merging the liberal arts with a pre-professional orientation, CCOM students are taught to evaluate issues critically, analyze problems systematically, and implement solutions that are ethical and humane as well as professional, useful, and profitable. Above all else, they learn a wide range of communication theories and skills, enabling them to survive and thrive in an increasingly diverse and technologically-complex world.

Karen Alter '85

Karen Alter Dean's Advisory Board HeadshotFor three decades, Karen Alter has provided strategic and senior-level counsel on advertising, branding and marketing campaigns for an array of clients. As Borshoff CEO, she leads the agency, overseeing strategic direction, as well as management and operations, talent development and recruitment, and key initiatives. She serves as partner oversight on account and creative teams for the agency’s largest advertising and branding clients – NIPSCO, Sigma Theta Tau International, Roche Diagnostics and the Indianapolis Indians. Prior to her current role, she helped lead the growth and development of Borshoff’s creative services department, which now represents 50% of the agency’s workforce. Karen currently serves as a board member for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, a board member of Rotary Club of Indianapolis and a member of the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana engagement committee. She is a past president of the American Advertising Federation/Indianapolis and past recipient of the Communicator of the Year award from the International Association of Business Communicators/Indianapolis Chapter. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, Emmaus Lutheran Church and a founding member of the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA). She received her bachelor’s degree from Butler University (1985) and her master’s degree from Indiana University. She and her husband, Dick, have one son, Matthew.

Jen Christensen '94

Jen Christensen Dean's Advisory Board HeadshotJen Christensen is an award-winning journalist who has worked in the business for 25 years. She currently writes and edits stories for CNN.com and produces TV segments for CNN for Dr. Sanjay Gupta. On the digital side, she does data analysis, investigative reporting, and covers breaking news for CNN’s medical and climate crisis units. Christensen’s work has earned some of the highest awards in broadcasting –the Peabody and DuPont, producing Christiane Amanpour’s God’s (Jewish) Warriors. The documentary series called “ambitious” and “compelling,” by the New York Times review, covered fundamentalism in the Abrahamic faiths. It was the most viewed documentary in CNN history at the time. She produced several other award-winning documentaries including: MLK’s Words That Changed a Nation, a documentary in which she held the actual copy of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech; Soledad O’Brien’s Black in America; Sarah Palin Revealed; Generation Islam, and Obama Revealed, in which she produced one-on-one interviews with the future president, his family and inner circle. She’s won writing awards and has earned several leadership awards including The Ovation Award for Outstanding Service to Diversity and Inclusion (2016), Butler University Robert Todd Duncan Distinguished Alumni Award (2016), Leadership Atlanta (class of 2016), and Go Magazine’s 100 Women We Love (2015). In her spare time, she has freelanced as a reporter and photographer for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the Advocate Magazine and others. Prior to CNN, Christensen ran WSOC-TV and WTVQ-TV’s investigative units and managed WXIN-TV’s weekend newsroom. Prior to journalism, Christensen worked as a policy analyst at Chicago’s Board of Elections and at NATO (London) where she worked on nuclear non-proliferation issues. She’s co-authored chapters in the books Women Public Speakers (Greenwood Press) and Women Confronting Retirement (Rutgers Press). She is the National VP for Print and Broadcast, for NLGJA’s longest serving elected national board president. She also served as NLGJA's interim director (2014), vice president for broadcast (2009-2013), and was on the board of directors (2001-2002, 2004-2009). She was president of the Georgia (2003-2004) and Carolinas chapters (2000-2001), and was the founding president of the Kentucky chapter (1998-2000). She launched and managed NLGJA’s national mentorship program and for the past six years has served as the program chair designing the organization’s annual convention. She served on the Unity, Journalists of Diversity Board (2011-2019). The board for Girls Rock Camp ATL (2010-2016), the Curve Magazine board, and the Butler University Alumni Association board (2008-2011). Christensen graduated from Butler University (1994) and studied at London School of Economics. She lives in Atlanta with her spouse, Holly Crenshaw.

Hayleigh Colombo '12

Hayleigh Colombo Dean's Advisory Board HeadshotHayleigh Colombo is a reporter for the Indianapolis Business Journal covering city affairs, including issues of poverty and inequality. She is also the treasurer of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Indiana chapter. Before joining IBJ in 2015, Colombo was a K-12 education reporter for non-profit news site Chalkbeat Indiana, where she primarily covered Indianapolis Public Schools. She also worked as a business and higher education reporter for the Lafayette Journal & Courier. She graduated from Butler University in 2012 with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and political science and high honors in journalism.

Daniel A. Cooreman ’76

Daniel A. Cooreman is a senior staff editor in the financial news department of The New York Times. He has been at the Times for 20 years, and currently serves as production chief for the Sunday Business section.

A native of South Bend, Ind., he attended St. Joseph’s High School before enrolling at Butler, where he was part of the first freshman journalism class to be advised by the legendary Art Levin. At Butler, Cooreman worked in various capacities for The Collegian, serving as editor in chief in 1975–1976. His Butler experience led to a copyediting internship at The South Bend Tribune, where he later worked as a reporter, theater critic, and assistant managing editor/features. During the 1980s, he was an editor at The Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Brandon Gaudin '06

Brandon Gaudin HeadshotBrandon Gaudin is a Play-by-Play announcer and voice actor across multiple national platforms.  On television, he broadcasts NFL and college football and college basketball for FOX and BTN.  On national radio, he calls the Men’s NCAA Tournament for Westwood One.  Additionally, Gaudin has been the Voice of Madden NFL for EA Sports since 2016.  A role he was preceded in by the likes of Jim Nantz, Al Michaels, Pat Summerall and Gus Johnson.  He was also the voice actor on Intel’s LeBron James TV ad-campaign and Gatorade’s “Secret to Victory” commercial.

Previously, Gaudin spent three seasons as the Play-by-Play Voice of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. He was featured in the New York Times upon acquiring the job before turning 30. His call of Georgia Tech’s blocked field goal to defeat Florida State was profiled on the front page of USA Today and lauded nationally by Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome and SportsIllustrated.com.

Prior to Tech, he was the Play-by-Play Voice of Butler basketball for three seasons and was on the call for the Bulldog’s 2011 trip to the Final Four. 

Gaudin’s Play-by-Play calls have been featured on SportsCenter on 12 separate occasions, seven times accompanying the #1 Play on SportsCenter’s Top 10.  

Gaudin’s first national exposure came as a junior in college back in 2005 when he was selected from thousands of national participants as the CBS ‘You Call the Action’ broadcasting winner. His work was spotlighted on CBS by Greg Gumbel at halftime of the Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship.

A double major and double minor at Butler University, he was named “Most Outstanding Communications Student” and one of the “Top 10 Male students” in his graduating class in 2006.

Kyle Inskeep '12

Kyle Inskeep Dean's Advisory Board HeadshotKyle Inskeep joined the Local 12 News team in June 2018. He anchors the 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts. 

Prior to moving to Cincinnati, Kyle worked as a morning reporter/fill-in anchor for FOX59 in Indianapolis for three years. While there he covered the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, the 100th running of the Indy 500 and the sentencing of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle.

During his first year out of college, Kyle worked for NBC News in Washington, D.C. He was selected as the 2012 Tim Russert Fellow. As part of this program, Kyle worked as a researcher for the network’s “political unit,” assisted correspondents and field producers and worked alongside the Meet The Press digital team.

Kyle graduated magna cum laude from Butler University with a degree in Electronic Journalism. He was on campus for both of the historic Final Four runs the Bulldogs made in 2010 and 2011.

Stephen Key '77

Stephen Key CCOM Dean's Advisory Board Member Headshot from 2007Stephen Key is Executive Director and General Counsel for the Hoosier State Press Association, an organization that serves approximately 160 paid-subscription newspapers in Indiana.

The HSPA has offered advice on legal questions for years to member newspapers on a wide range of topics, but predominately questions concerning access to information. Key also represents the HSPA before the Indiana General Assembly, lobbying for the public's freedom of information rights and the interests of the Indiana newspaper industry during 26 legislative sessions.

Prior to his return to school to earn his law degree, Key accumulated 13 years of experience working for newspapers. He was managing editor of the Noblesville Daily Ledger for two years and assistant news editor for the Daily Journal of Johnson County in Franklin for three years during those 13 years.

Key's law degree was awarded at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis in 1994. He previously earned a bachelor's degree in journalism at Butler University in 1977.

In addition to his work with HSPA, Key also currently serves as the president of the Friends of Ernie Pyle Development Fund, Inc., which operates the Ernie Pyle World War II Museum in Dana, Indiana. He also serves on the boards of the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame and the Indiana Coaltion for Open Government.

Kayla Long '19

Kayla Long Dean's Advisory Board HeadshotKayla Long is the Marketing Manager for Sanctuary Wealth, a financial services firm.

During her college career, Kayla launched her company, JEM Marketing + Design, LLC.

Kayla graduated cum laude from Butler University in 2019 with bachelor’s degrees in Critical Communication and Media Studies and Spanish with high honors.

Teresa Mask '93

Teresa Mask Dean's Advisory Board HeadshotTeresa Mask is a corporate public relations manager for AT&T’s global diversity and inclusion communications team. She shares the company’s multicultural vision and values through relatable stories that will resonate with an external audience. Previously, she was the company’s regional spokesperson in Michigan, handling crisis communication and earning local, proactive coverage through TV appearances and print/online articles about AT&T’s products and services.

Prior to AT&T, Teresa was a print and online journalist. She managed teams of reporters as an editor at both the Detroit Free Press and AOL’s Patch.com. She also spent a decade as a reporter at the Daily Herald, in suburban Chicago. Her most memorable stories include overseeing coverage of the failed Christmas Day 2009 terrorist attack at Detroit Metro Airport and a series of articles she wrote about a homecoming court prank on an overweight high school student, which later became the storyline for a Lifetime movie.

While at Butler, Teresa was editor of the Butler Collegian and named one of the Top 10 Outstanding Students twice. She graduated with a BA in journalism and Spanish.

She has served on Butler’s Alumni Board of Directors and currently is communications chair for Butler’s Detroit alumni steering committee. She was honored with the Joseph R. Sweeny Alumni Service Award in 2001.

Patricia Mays ’93

Patricia Mays CCOM Dean's Advisory Board HeadshotPatricia Mays is the Executive Editor – Programming at ESPN.com. In this role she is responsible for implementing the digital editorial content strategy for all pro-sports coverage, programming of the ESPN.com home page, and collaborating with the sales and marketing teams to help identify and develop potential revenue-driving opportunities. She was part of the team that launched the expanded NFL Nation network by creating sites for all 32 NFL teams. She joined ESPN in 2009 and has served as Deputy Editor for ESPN.com’s home page then as Senior Director/Managing Editor - Programming.

Ms. May’s career started at the Associated Press where she was an intern in the Minority Internship program and then went on to become a reporter in Detroit. She also worked as an editor and manager on both the news and sports desks in New York during her 10 years with the AP. As a supervisor on the AP’s National Desk in New York, she served as lead editor for some of the biggest stories of the decade, including the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 2003 she became the AP’s assistant sports editor, overseeing NHL, motorsports, women’s basketball, and Olympics coverage. In 2005 she moved to California where she was the sports editor for Press-Enterprise, a 180,000-circulation daily newspaper covering inland Southern California. According to the 2012 Associates Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card, Ms. Mays is one of the very few minority female sports editors in the United States.

Ms. Mays obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Butler University and a master’s degree in public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany. She was also a 2013 Punch Sulzberger Program Fellow at Columbia Journalism School.

William W. Neher

Bill Neher is professor emeritus of communication studies at Butler University, where he taught for 42 years. Over those years he has served as Dean of the University College, Director of the Honors Program, Head of the Department of Communication Studies, the Chair of the faculty governance, and most recently as the first Dean (Interim) for the new College of Communication begun in June 2010. He is the author of several books dealing with organizational and professional communication, ethics, and African studies, plus several public speaking and communication text books.

Leslie Olsen ’79

Leslie Olsen is Public Relations Manager for the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Prior to this, she was president of Olsen Communication Consultants. From 1981-2009, Olsen served as education reporter for WISH-TV 8 in Indianapolis, where she developed, covered, and produced education and general assignment news stories and conducted investigative reporting. She hosted the Peanut Butter Press Reports children’s magazine show for six years, and won a Vanderbilt University media fellowship. While earning her Butler degree in radio-television, Olsen was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.

Deborah Paul, DAB Chairperson

Deborah Paul is executive vice president/editorial director for Emmis Publishing Corporation, which produces Indianapolis Monthly magazine and other city/regional publications. Paul has been at Indianapolis Monthly for three decades, including the 23 years it has been part of Emmis Communications Corp. She served as president of the City and Regional Magazine Association and as IM’s editor-in-chief for 16 years before taking on her current responsibilities.

Paul has received several national awards for her personal column, which has appeared in Indianapolis Monthly since 1981. Other awards include Girls Inc. Touchstone Award for inspiring young girls to be "strong, smart, and bold," and an alumni award from Butler University.

Paul earned a bachelor’s degree (1969) and master’s degree (1970) from Indiana University. She completed coursework in journalism at Butler, where she has taught a course on magazine writing for the College of Communication. She and her husband, an attorney with Faegre Baker Daniels, are the parents of two sons and have three grandchildren.

Amy McConkey Robbins

Amy McConkey Robbins Dean's Advisory Board HeadshotAmy McConkey Robbins is a speech-language pathologist in private practice in Indianapolis, IN. She is the author of widely-used assessment procedures in the profession, including the MAIS, IT-MAIS, Common Phrases Task, Mr. Potato Head Task, Red Flags Procedure and the Bilingual Family Interview or BIFI (2007.) She lectures internationally on children with hearing technologies and on preventing burnout for those in serving professions. Ms. Robbins has published over 90 articles or chapters in professional journals and textbooks, along with an integrated speech and music therapy curriculum, TuneUps, co-authored with Chris Barton. This curriculum was voted the MVP “Most Valuable Product” by readers of TherapyTimes.com. Her book, “Whirlwinds and Small Voices” (Lucas Park Books, 2010), authored with Clarence McConkey, deals with compassion fatigue and vocational renewal for those in serving professions.

She worked previously at the Indiana University School of Medicine, Boys Town National Research Hospital, and as a consultant for 3M-International in Brussels, Belgium. Named a Distinguished Alumna of Purdue University, she received the Richard Miyamoto Award for service to the Listening and Spoken Language profession in 2017. Ms. Robbins earned a BA in psychology from Hollins College, Virginia, a Diploma in Phonetics and Linguistics from Leeds University, Yorkshire, U.K., and a Master of Science in Audiology and Speech Sciences from Purdue University.

John "JP" Schuerman ’96

John "JP" Schuerman is head of Global Communications for Riot Games, a leader in esports. Schuerman served as the President of the Western Region at MWWPR based out of their Los Angeles office, a position he accepted after MWWPR acquired his former company, Enso Communications in 2012. Schuerman founded Enso Communications in January 2011. Before that, he worked as Executive Vice President & General Manager at Los Angeles based Edelman from 2008 to 2011. He also served as Executive Vice President & Chief Strategist at CarryOn Communication from 2002 to 2008. Schuerman has also served as a consultant at Symantec from 2004 to 2008 and as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Southern California from 2005 to 2007. He began his career as a Media Director at Smokefree Indiana in 1997.

Schuerman was named PR News' PR Professional of the Year in December 2014. He has previously served as a board member of The Point Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students of merit.

Schuerman earned a BA in journalism with Honors from Butler in 1996 and served on the Collegian staff. He received the Aluni Achievement Award in 2002 and was named one of “50 under 50” in 2004.

Mary C. Woolling ‘76

Mary C. Wooling Dean's Advisory Board Headshot

Mary C. Woolling is the founder and president of Communi-cate LLC, an Indianapolis-based publicity and public relations company that provides writing and editing services and coordination of special events. She is the author of the Here’s to Life! book series, containing collections of her essays and stories.   

A registered nurse, Mary holds a B.A. degree in zoology-chemistry from Butler (1976) and a B.S. degree in nursing from DePauw University (1978). She worked in the field of nursing for more than 20 years, before starting Communi-cate LLC.

She has served on Butler’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is an Elder at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis.  She is a member of the National League of American Pen Women, Indiana Writers Center, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, P.E.O. International (Philanthropic and Educational Organization), and Kappa Alpha Theta.